Sunday, 17 December, 2017

At least 10 die in 2 vehicle bombings in Mogadishu

At least 10 die in 2 vehicle bombings in Mogadishu At least 10 die in 2 vehicle bombings in Mogadishu
Lance Thomas | 29 October, 2017, 01:36

"About 14 people, a lot of them civilians, were confirmed dead so far and the security forces are still working to ensure the area is clear", said security official Mohamed Moalim Adan.

A suicide vehicle bomber first drove into a hotel where President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was due to host a meeting on Saturday, following by a auto bombing near a former parliament building.

"Security forces have entered a small portion of the hotel building ... the exchange of gunfire is hellish", he said.

The police personnel who died had been stationed close to hotel's gate. The reporter said ambulances transported bodies and wounded people from the scene.

"We can hear the gunfire but it is hard to know who is fighting, the forces cordoned off the building and no-one can go close to it", said a witness called Abdulahi Nure.

"We can confirm that the president was not at the hotel at the time of the attack", he said. "We are fighting inside", said Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group's military operations spokesman.

Al-Shabab, Africa's deadliest extremist group, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed a baby and two children, a senior Somali police colonel and a former lawmaker, Capt. Mohamed Hussein told the Associated Press.

He said the hotel belonged to Somalia's internal security minister, Mohamed Abukar Islow.

According to an Al Jazeera tally, since the start of this year, more than 20 explosions have targeted Mogadishu, killing at least 500 people and injuring more than 630. There was no immediate claim as to who was responsible for the blast.

Witnesses in some previous attacks have said al Shabab fighters disguised themselves by wearing military uniforms.

Bombs in Mogadishu two weeks ago killed at least 358 people, the worst such attacks in the country's history, igniting nationwide outrage.

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